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Safe Home Pledge

What is SafeHomes?
The SafeHomes Program offers an opportunity for parents to join together to help provide a safer environment for their children. It does not require commitment of time or extra effort for already busy families. It is simply a public agreement between us to follow some simple principles that will provide a genuinely safer world for our children to grow in.

Why Do We Need A SafeHomes Program?
Our young people are faced, almost daily, with pressures to use alcohol and illegal drugs. As if the over glamorized advertising of alcohol were not enough, there are endless social messages and pressures to use all kinds of intoxicants. Even those children who choose not use, are frequently forced to socialize with those who are using, if they are to socialize at all.

What Is Required If I Join SafeHomes?
Read the pledge to your children and explain that, while they may not now understand the purpose, you have joined out of love for them. Then live up to the requirements of the pledge without fail.

What If I Feel that Young People Should Be Allowed To Drink Alcohol If they Are Properly Supervised?
You are perfectly free to choose not to sign the SafeHomes pledge. You should feel no pressure to join if you plan to serve alcohol to teens. We feel, however, that you should know several things:

  • Research shows that adults who were "taught to drink responsibly" as teens grow up to have as many alcohol related problems as adults who were allowed to do as they pleased as teens and adults who were allowed to drink at all as teens. There is no advantage to "teaching" them to drink.
  • Physically and psychologically the adolescent is much more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol than the mature adult. Biological researchers have proven that young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who began drinking at age 21. In fact, the risk of alcohol dependency decreases by 14% with each increasing year of age of drinking onset.
  • The law states unequivocally that IT IS ILLEGAL TO PROVIDE ALCOHOL TO ANYONE UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE IN NEW YORK (other than your own child.) The SafeHomes pledge does not intend to interfere with your choice in your own home with your own children. It hopes to eliminate drinking party situations where others are present.
  • Finally, we feel that adults who choose to allow groups of teens to drink are fostering a disrespect of the law in these young people, regardless of their own personal beliefs. We hope that you consider the possible consequences of this action.

What About The Teens Who Choose To Drink Anyway, Regardless Of The SafeHomes Program?

We cannot stop all kids from drinking. That is not the goal of SafeHomes. We wish to do three things:

             1. Provide a safe social environment for teens in OUR OWN HOMES.
             2. Send a clear, unambiguous message to our children and all teens that we care enough for their safety to risk their
             displeasure to try to protect them.
             3. To inform other parents that if their children come to our home, they will be supervised and that alcohol and other drugs use
             will not be tolerated.

The goals are proper, realistic, and can be achieved in our community.

What If A Family Signs, Then Violates The Pledge?

The SafeHomes Program is a voluntary program and those who sign it are pledging on their personal honor to abide by it. The SafeHomes Committee cannot guarantee the behavior of, nor accept responsibility for, the behavior of anyone.

After I Sign, Then What?

Simply supervise social gatherings at your home and restrict the use of alcohol and other drugs. The SafeHomes pledge will be renewed on an annual basis. You are not obligated to work, volunteer, attend meetings, or spend any of your time or effort. Just follow the pledge. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the SafeHomes Committee from your school or organization or call the SafeHomes Coordinator at the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse at (716) 839-1157.

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